Last Updated: 12:46pm 17/12/2010

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29 / 04 / 2010
This year's festival commemorates 50 years of athletics coaching conferences in Europe, find out the history behind IFAC...

IFAC 2010 celebrates 50 years of the European Athletics Coaches Association [EACA].

The Rome Olympics in 1960 was a major turning point in athletics history, as Europe moved out of the USA shadow. In 1956, USA had 16 gold medals, Europe 11. In 1960, USA had 12, Europe 19. And in the 34 events, 30 new Olympic records were set – eight of them world records.

The major influence in these changes and improvements was focus on coaching and the emerging world of the performance sciences. Europe was leading the way in this and intended to continue doing so.

So a visionary group of leading European coaches met in Vincennes, Paris. They agreed to create EACA for the development of athletics coaching and to support coach education.

Vincennes, then, was the first EACA Conference, which has now been hosted in more than twenty cities across Europe. This year is the 33rd conference. 

The EACA conference title was changed in 2009 to the International Festival of Athletics Coaching [IFAC] to reflect the overall learning opportunity and the excitement of building knowledge alliances and networks across the globe.

The 50th anniversary will be celebrated not only in the continuing highest quality of keynote presentations and workshops but in launching a dedicated ‘Teachers Programme’ and recognising some of the great coaching icons who have been part of ensuring Europe’s outstanding performance record over these 50 years.